My husband is slated to be gone nearly 9 months during this calendar year: training exercises, work-ups, Fleet Weeks, and joint exercises. He’s gone for weeks and home for a couple of days, only to repeat the vicious cycle too many times to count. I’m never sure how our three children will react to his departures and arrivals. But one thing I know for sure, something will break, a hurricane will hit, and the plumbing will leak. Every doggone time.
Take just this year, for example. In the past 12 months I have had to: replace a heating/AC unit, replace several pieces of pool equipment, completely repair the internal plumbing of one commode, combine and replace breakers, fix the plumbing under the kitchen sink, drain the pool during thunderstorms and a tropical storm – all in addition to dealing with the schedules of three kiddos, two of whom have autism spectrum disorders. Currently I am dealing with a flooding garage (an ongoing issue, to be sure), a newly spayed Labrador, oh, and a teenager who has suddenly decided that she “wants a life.”
Throughout all these quasi-emergencies, we fervently wish we had our spouse or significant other with us to, if not handle the situation themselves, at least to serve as a sounding board for our ideas on how to fix the situation. We email…and wait for a response because the comms for the ship are down, or our spouse is in the sandbox and can’t Skype. So we put on our Military Spouse panties and Google. Or head to the experts at Home Depot. Or, call our long distance family. Regardless, we facilitate, contract and expedite. We organize and prioritize. We get the job done.
I’m thinking that there needs to be some sort of medal pinning or awards ceremony for us – the spouses at home who keep the gears greased and the engine running. Perhaps a Golden Plunger Award, Master Schedule Keeper, The Order of the Battletested Spouse…something! We could wear our medals pinned to our purses and the all military wives would look upon each other, give knowing glances, and acknowledge the other’s perseverance and dedication to keeping the family and home relatively functional.
...You’ll note I said, “relatively!”